FATE dice rolling methods

I own a couple of games based on the FATE system (which is, in turn, based on the FUDGE system), and there are a couple of different approaches for rolling dice that appear in them.

The classic system is 4dF. A dF is a FUDGE die and has six faces representing the numbers -1, 0 and 1 twice over. It is a d3-2.

Starblazer Adventures uses a different approach and rolls d6-d6. This has the advantage that you don’t need to run out and buy dice that are so specialised that your friendly neighourhood gaming store doesn’t sell them.

This morning I decided to invest a few minutes into doing some analysis and comparison of the two systems (no doubt duplicating other people’s work, but entertaining myself in the process).

I generated all possible results that each of the two systems could provide, and converted them into percentages and then charted them.

Total 4dF 4dF % d6 – d6 d6 – d6 %
-5 0 0 1 2.78
-4 1 1.23 2 5.56
-3 4 4.94 3 8.33
-2 10 12.35 4 11.11
-1 16 19.75 5 13.89
0 19 23.46 6 16.67
1 16 19.75 5 13.89
2 10 12.35 4 11.11
3 4 4.94 3 8.33
4 1 1.23 2 5.56
5 0 0 1 2.78

There isn’t much to choose between the results, although the FUDGE dice give slightly less variance and are more likely to hit closer to zero.

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2 Responses to FATE dice rolling methods

  1. Pingback: Spirit of the Century returns to the Tuesday Knights - The Core Worlds

  2. Steve says:

    Interesting…
    What do you think the implications are?
    My take is that for Starblazers you have a little bit more chance to do something extraordinary (and at the same time something awful).
    Both have the same mean, but the standard deviation seems to the important parameter here…

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